What Technology Does North Korea Have


The hermit kingdom of North Korea has remained largely isolated from the rest of the world for much of its history, but the past decade has seen increasing engagement with the global community, particularly when it comes to technology. North Korea has been slow to embrace modern technology, but recently the country has taken some strides towards making use of technological advancements. In this article, we take a look at the current state of North Korean technology and what it could mean for the country’s future.

Communications and Internet Access

The development of North Korean technology has lagged far behind the rest of the world, and internet access is still severely limited. The majority of the population does not have access to the internet, with a tiny fraction of the population given access to a heavily censored intranet network. The government heavily controls all forms of communication and access to the internet, making it impossible for North Koreans to access the same information and websites that the rest of the world has access to.

Similarly, North Korea has a limited mobile phone network that is also subsidized by the government. The country still relies heavily on outdated 2G networks, though some parts of the country now have access to 3G networks. However, widespread mobile phone use is limited by the high cost of handsets and mobile phones.

Missile and Nuclear Technology

North Korea has long been known for its development of ballistic missile and nuclear technology, which it has tested several times over the years. The country is believed to be in possession of a number of medium- and long-range ballistic missiles, as well as submarine-launched ballistic missiles. It is also believed to have the capability to develop and deliver nuclear warheads.

The country’s missile and nuclear technologies have been the primary source of tensions between North Korea and its neighboring countries, as well as the United States. North Korea has continued to develop and expand its missile and nuclear capabilities in recent years, despite international condemnations and sanctions.

IT Infrastructure

North Korea has a relatively limited IT infrastructure when compared to comparable countries. The country is home to several specialized technology universities, which are tasked with training scientists and engineers in IT-related fields. However, computer hardware and software remains difficult to come by in the country, due to the severe sanctions placed on the country by the international community.

Nevertheless, the country has recently taken strides towards developing its own software and hardware. While much of the hardware is outdated by western standards, the country has made some advancements in developing its own operating system and creating the “Red Star” Linux-based OS. North Korea has also developed a few homegrown technologies, such as its own search engine, web browser, and other software tools.

Technology In Everyday Life

In recent years, North Korea has made some efforts to introduce technology into everyday life in the country. North Koreans are increasingly using smartphones to access the internet and social media, although the government heavily regulates access to these services. North Koreans are also embracing other modern forms of technology, such as 3D printing and artificial intelligence, although the extent of these technologies remains unclear.

Overall, it appears that North Korea is slowly but surely embracing technology, though it still remains far behind the rest of the world. The country is likely to continue to invest in IT infrastructure, with the potential possibilities of arms control and economic advancement. Nevertheless, North Korea’s overall technology capabilities are still limited compared to its neighbors.

Sanctions and Possible Impact

The international community has placed a number of sanctions and other restrictions upon the North Korean regime, making it difficult for the country to access much of the global technology market. This has limited North Korea’s access to the latest and greatest in technology, which could be a detriment to the country’s progress in the long run.

The sanctions have also been detrimental to the North Korean people, as they have not been allowed to access the same technologies as the rest of the world. This has potentially limited the potential of the North Korean people, providing them with fewer opportunities to improve their lives.


North Korea’s technological advancements have been incremental, but there have been some signs of progress in recent years. The country has taken some steps towards modernizing its IT infrastructure and embracing new technologies, though it still remains far behind the rest of the world. The international sanctions placed on the country have undoubtedly limited its progress, though it remains to be seen whether the country will be able to overcome the technological and economic disparity.

Cassie Grissom is an American journalist and author living in Seoul, South Korea. She has been studying the Korean peninsula since 2011, and her work focuses on understanding human rights issues in North Korea. In addition to her work as an author, Cassie is an active advocate for human rights in North Korea. She regularly shares stories about life in North Korea with international audiences to raise awareness of the plight of its citizens.

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